Wild Mushroom Risotto

1 oz. dried mushrooms of choice (porcini, shiitake, wood ear, oyster)
2 cups hot water
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
4-5 cups warm chicken broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter

In a bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and hot water.
In a saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil. Saute the onion until soft, add the garlic and rice, stir to incorporate the rice into the butter and oil, about 1 minute. Add a cup of broth, thyme, salt and pepper, stir, and continue stirring until broth is incorporated into rice. Continue to add broth, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition and continue stirring until rice is creamy. After 15 minutes or so, add the mushrooms, chopped coarsely, to the rice. You can add some of the water from the soaked mushrooms instead of the chicken broth for the last few additions of liquid. After 25 minutes or so, the rice should be creamy and tender. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the parsley, cheese, and butter.
Serve at once. Serves 4-6.

Note: You can substitute fresh mushrooms (wild) for the dried:
2 cups fresh wild mushrooms of choice, sautéed in 2 T. butter for 1-2 minutes, then add to risotto as directed above.
Sometimes I use half and half – some dried and some fresh mushrooms.

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